Main Street Nevada announced this week Henry Corbin will be the organization’s new director, capping off the city’s recent change of creating a single-group entity between the Nevada Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Nevada.


Finding the right candidate was a rigorous, eight-week-long process, according to Steve Skaggs, president of Main Street Nevada. Around 20 applications came in for the position, Skaggs said.


“Henry absolutely knocked it out of the park,” Skaggs said. “He has the passion, the drive, the Nevada knowledge, the connection and the history here — he gets it — and that’s something you can’t teach a person.”


Corbin is a recent graduate of Iowa State University who frequents the “Main Street Nevada, IA” Facebook page with “Henry’s History Lesson.” Corbin additionally compiled historic information about Nevada for the town’s application to become a Main Street Iowa city, according to the Main Street Nevada, IA Facebook page.


“I just look forward to working with you all in the future,” Corbin said. “We have some great things coming along and we can’t do it without (your) help.”


Corbin’s hiring was announced at the end of the Main Street Iowa community event on Wednesday in Nevada, where community members learned the results of the 2019 Downtown Public Survey and heard from the Main Street Iowa team.


“This is our first, ‘What’s going on,’ meeting,” Skaggs said. “People are really interested; we’ve been trying to figure out what the plan is (for downtown) and we haven’t been able to tell everybody what’s going on yet, so we’re just getting to the point where we can (educate).”


Residents identified filling storefronts and improving building conditions as the downtown’s greatest challenge, while the greatest asset was local business, the survey revealed. The survey was completed by 400 Nevada residents — 248 of whom have lived in the Nevada community for more than 10 years, Main Street Iowa revealed.


Additional highlights were mentioned by Darlene Strachan, Main Street lowa assistant state coordinator:Lincoln Highway Days was voted the favorite community event.100 survey participants said “yes” or “maybe” to living in downtown Nevada.Residents would like to see art, food, or music events, as well as an enhanced farmers market.Participants want to see building improvement for small and larger project.


The Main Street Iowa team — consisting of Strachan, Tim Reinders, design specialist, Terry Poe Buschkamp, promotion specialist, and Robin Bostrom, business specialist — walked the streets of Nevada and spoke with citizens to see where gaps need filled with downtown improvement.


“We saw and experienced the pride that you all have,” Strachan said.


Main Street Iowa highlights four initiatives that will help to better improve the Nevada downtown district: Design, Organization, Promotion and Economic Vitality.


“We’re trying to re-establish downtown as a social and commercial center of the community,” Strachan said. “We want to make sure your downtown is valuable and it stays valuable; we are going to look at the values that it’s physically, economically, socially and politically a value to Nevada residents and those visiting Nevada.”


The projects will take time, Strachan said, as she asked citizens for patience for all projects – small and large.


“This is not a quick-fix program,” Strachan said.